🥇 BANNER Civil War canteen with soldiers name etched in! (Native American Civil War unit)


Jr. Member
Dec 27, 2016
Harbor Springs, MI
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Oh man if this thing could talk.

I have been searching around a newer permission in the Northeast corner of Michigan (lower peninsula) and unearthed a round, smashed item. I watch a good amount of Aquachigger's channel on YouTube so immediately recognized it as a Union civil war canteen. Now aside from the occasional coat button I rarely encounter any civil war finds so was beyond excited when I pulled this item from the dirt and roots.

I headed home and, after giving a good rinse, noticed a name "JOHN SHOMIN" scribed into the pewter neck. I recognized the last name from the area and immediately headed to the internet. I was able to quickly learn that the soldier was an Odawa Indian and part of the elite 1st Michigan SS (sharpshooters) Regiment Company K. He is buried in the Lakeview Cemetery in Harbor Springs Michigan.

This unit comprised of 139 men and was nearly of all Native Americans from the Northwestern lower Michigan area. It sounds like this company saw some significant action:
The Civil War unit fought in the battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Spottsylvania, Assault on the Salient, Battle of Cold Harbor, Battle of Petersburg, Battle of the Crater and a bunch of others. You just never know what your coil is going to swing over. 20210913_134214.jpg 20210913_134208.jpg 20210911_175104_HDR.jpg 20210911_201311_HDR.jpg 20210911_204532.jpg 20210912_115231.jpg 20210912_201544_HDR.jpg 20210911_204532.jpg Screenshot_20210911-204132_3 (1).png Screenshot_20210912-115507_2 (1).png Screenshot_20210912-115717_2 (1).png


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Upvote 90


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Staff member
Jan 27, 2009
South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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Tesoro Conquistador freq shift
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With so many Civil war items found it is rare you get a name. Yours is even more significant it being a native American. Nice find now to stop that rust and preserve it.
Way to go!

Jose The Goon

Sr. Member
Apr 1, 2017
East Coast
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Whites 6000D, 6000Di, Eagle, & PI 1000
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Ditto to everyone's comments here !!!! Fantastic, story, find, research & pictures. John Shomin's photo & headstone are great finds in their own right. Thank you for sharing your fantastic find & research !!! CONGRATS !!!

The story you have presented would make a nice movie ala "Glory". John Shomin & his "Band of Brothers" is a very interesting piece of Civil War history that I never knew about until you posted.
Thanks again for sharing.
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Silver Member
Aug 3, 2017
Northern Virginia
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WOW what a great save and being able to connect the canteen to the soldier is really special, the stuff us relic hunters dream of doing!!! Congrats!


Bronze Member
Jul 28, 2009
🥇 Banner finds
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I vote banner on this one. I think finding any Civil War canteen would be a great find; however, to be able to put a name and a face to it is awesome. The fact that the soldier was Native American makes it even more special and unique. I love the detail and photos you were able to add to your post. Congrats on a great find.

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